EPA Does Not Run the Economy; Manufacturers Seek Stay on GHG Regs

The National Association of Manufacturers has filed a motion for a stay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Wednesday seeking to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. (Motion available here.)

The NAM’s action is supported by a broad coalition of groups representing business, industry, energy and agriculture. (Listed here as the “movants” in the NAM’s statement of issues  filed with the court).

NAM President John Engler makes the economic case in a news release from the NAM:

If the EPA moves forward and begins regulating stationary sources, it will open the door for the Agency to regulate everything from industrial facilities to farms to even American homes. Such a move would further complicate a permitting process the EPA is not equipped to handle, while increasing costs to the manufacturing sector. Further, the EPA has not done any required analysis of the impact of these rules, and its actions will harm our economic recovery at a time when we desperately need jobs.”

Our nation continues to face an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent. If the EPA is allowed to continue forward with an overreaching agenda that puts additional and unnecessary burdens on manufacturers and drives up energy costs, it will cause economic harm and instill even more uncertainty into our already fragile economy.  These actions will destroy jobs.

The NAM’s action comes in response to proposed EPA regulations generally known as the Tailpipe Rule, the PSD Interpretive Rule (i.e., the Prevention of Significant Deterioration rule, also known as the Johnson Memo), and the Tailoring Rule.

The NAM’s motion for the stay frames the case this way:

In less than four months, a patchwork of EPA actions related to the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) will become effective. Together, those Clean Air Act (CAA) actions—the first GHG mandates in the United States—will irreparably harm Movants and damage all sectors of the economy. EPA itself has called the consequences of its actions “absurd,” affecting 6.1 million sources, introducing $78 billion in annual costs, causing “at least a decade or longer” of permit delays, “slow[ing] construction nationwide for years,” introducing burdens that are administratively “infeasible,” “overwhelming,” and will “adversely affect national economic development,” while impacting sources “not appropriate at this point to even consider regulating.”

EPA’s efforts to reduce these burdens will not prevent significant irreparable harm during this litigation. Given the harms and the arguments below, the National Association of Manufacturers and others listed in Exhibit 1 (Movants) respectfully
request this Court issue a narrowly tailored partial stay to preserve the status quo and prevent these rules from taking effect on countless stationary sources that EPA has not assessed, while allowing EPA to proceed with its CAA efforts to control GHG emissions from cars and light duty trucks (hereinafter, cars).

The association argues for the legal relief from the pending rules based on four arguments:

  1. Movants are likely to succeed on the merits.
  2. EPA’s actions will cause concrete and irreparable harm across the economy.
  3. Granting a limited stay will not harm EPA in any manner.
  4. Granting a stay benefits the public interest and the environment.

Again framing the arguments:

Movants do not contest EPA’s goal of limiting the emissions of GHGs from cars; rather, they contest EPA’s path for reaching that goal, which tremendously impacts stationary sources. EPA has unlawfully linked its car standards with the distinct PSD permitting program, creating an absurd, economy-wide permitting program that could bring economic development to a halt.

We’ll post coverage later.

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